Jean Sullivan named Ontario Food & Farming Champion


Jean Sullivan, prolific volunteer and advocate for agriculture, has been named the 2023 Farm & Food Care Champion.

Sullivan, who hails from the Ottawa Valley, received the Food & Farming Champion Award at the Farm & Food Care Ontario’s (FFCO) AGM held at Elora, Ont. on Wednesday.

Each year, the award is named in recognition of an individual or group’s significant commitment to public outreach and support for Ontario’s farming community.

Sullivan was nominated by the Ottawa Valley Seed Growers’ Association in recognition of her broad range of agriculture-focused volunteering, with letters of support submitted by Bruce Hudson and Ashley Knapton. Her award was presented by FFCO Vice-Chair Crispin Colvin with assistance from Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Lisa Thompson and Senator Rob Black.

Sullivan is described by nominators as an unwavering and dedicated supporter of Ontario agriculture and food. Both professionally, as an agronomist, and as a volunteer, she has undertaken numerous initiatives that help promote agriculture and food and educate people from all walks of life, and enhance public trust and confidence in food and farming.

Her efforts make food and farming understandable, personal and relatable to her community through telling the story of local agriculture. Sullivan volunteers in a wide variety of roles and organizations and is always looking for ways to share agriculture’s stories and successes with the public.

Currently, Sullivan serves as a director of the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame, a director of the Ottawa Valley Seed Growers’ Association, a 4-H leader in West Carleton and on the board of directors of the Carp Fair. Her efforts were instrumental in bringing FFCO’s Breakfast from the Farm event to Carp in 2021. She also started the first-ever ‘Real Dirt on Farming’ 4-H club, taking senior 4-H members through issues addressed in the award-winning publication.

“Jean is truly the greatest kind of asset for eastern Ontario. She has her heart set on the success of the industry, and more importantly the people in and around it,” says nominator Ashley Knapton. “Her vision and fierce determination are contagious. I, along with many other next generation agriculture enthusiasts, are lucky to have Jean to look up to. I consider Jean a mentor and respect her experience in how to engage a broader audience every time we have the opportunity to work or volunteer together.”

“Jean cares deeply about her community and actively initiates ideas to bring agriculture leaders and consumers together,” added nominator Bruce Hudson, past president of the Ottawa Valley Seed Growers Association. “She deserves to be commended for her outstanding advocacy work in promoting agriculture to youth and consumers at large.”

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